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10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks

You all know by now that I love playing around on my chalkboard.  Well I thought I would share some of my tricks I have learned along the way.  So here are my Top 10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks.

10 Chalkboard tips and tricks

 

1.  Sketch out your design first. I like to draw out on a piece of scratch paper what I have in mind for the chalkboard, it’s a lot easier to switch around on paper than it is to keep drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing on your chalkboard.  Here is the rough sketch I used for my New Years Eve Board.

2. Use a level and measuring tape to space out where your words will go.  I, being an extremely lazy DIY-er, would much rather eyeball it, but I can’t tell you how many times I have started over because something wasn’t centered (I have major symmetrical issues) or I ran out of room.  You also don’t want your words running down hill, so a level is key.

3. Regular old crayola chalk works the best.  I get mine from the dollar store, no fancy chalk paint pens for me.  I like the old school look and blendability of plain jane chalk.

4.  Dafont.com is da-bomb. Have you used dafont.com?  It is awesome, there are zillions of free fonts you can download.  For my chalkboards I don’t actually download them, they have this handy dandy feature where you can preview your text.  I just type in whatever I’m going to write and they show me what it would look like, then I just do my best to replicate it drawing by hand.  Here I’ll show you – this is the screen shot of the font I used for my Easter Chalkboard.

5. Google Clip art images.  Want to add a cute picture to your chalkboard?  Just google whatever you are looking for to get some inspiration!  For my New Years Eve Chalkboard I did a google search “champagne glass clip art images” to help me get the right look for these glasses.

6. Water is your friend! You will mess up at least a few times even with all your careful planning.  I like to keep a damp rag close by to help me “erase” any mistakes.  You will be using so much chalk that simply using an eraser is not going to cut it.  DON’T use paper towel you will get little fuzzies stuck everywhere, not cool.

7.  Q-tips are your very best friend! When I’m all done I like to go back thru and touch up/clean up any spots that are a little smudged or have a lot of detailing with a wet q-tip.  I keep a stack of them plus a cup of water next to me for easy clean up. I practically went thru a whole package with my Christmas Chalkboard.

10 chalkboard tips and tricks

8.  Make yourself a stencil.  Using a design with repetition?  Give yourself a break and make a stencil.  See the “egg” bunting above?  I drew one egg on my chalkboard, traced it on a piece of vellum, cut it out and used it over and over again.  I did the same thing for the little chicks and bunnies for my Easter Chalkboard.

9. Mix and match your fonts.  I like to use at least 2 fonts to add interest to my design but I try to cap it at 3 or 4.  Mix it up!  I usually stick to one script font, one that’s more bold and blocky, and one that is super simple.  Or I break all the rules and use only one font like I did in my Spring Chalkboard.

 

10. Have fun!  There’s no right or wrong way to do chalkboard art.  It’s supposed to be fun, don’t stress over whether it’s perfect or not.  After all, if you are like me, you are going to erase it and start over in a week or two anyways. :)

So there you go, now you know everything I know – go forth and chalkboard!

ten chalkboard tips and tricks

 ….and send me some pics if you do, I’d love to see what you are up to :)








Comments

  1. Thanks Kelly! I love your chalkboards. I painted an entry closet door as a chalkboard for a wall calendar. Once I got my Iphone-I didn’t know what to do with the chalkboard UNTIL I found your blog. These are great tips especially with the q-tip because I hate having to smudge the words with my finger. I have this thing against the chalk feeling. Also thanks for tip on the level-I would have been lazy and free-handed it.

  2. I love your post today. Chalk board art is all the rage. I have chalkboards that I have made out of old windows. I just wasn’t sure how to make the writing look cool. Thanks for the tips and tricks. I will do it today and send you a picture. Have a great Tuesday.

  3. I love all your tips Kelly! I am a horrible artist when it comes to drawing, I can picture it but it takes me a lonnnng time to get it just right. I will definitely apply your tricks to my next chalkboard art! IF, I can get the kids to stop doodling on it first ;)

  4. Thank you for the super tips! I love your chalkboard art and look forward to seeing what you do each month! I appreciate the websites for different fonts as I think that really makes the chalkboard stand out! Have a great day:)

  5. So glad you shared these tips! Always love your chalkboards and your dos and don’ts are super helpful. Now where can I put one in my house?…

  6. Wow, you are an artist….Pinned this post for future use…thanks

  7. Great tips … I really needed these! I pinned it!

  8. Great tips and tricks, Kelly. I am saving this to my files so I can find it when I need it- Thanks- your chalkboards are amazing- xo Diana

  9. I love your tips, Kelly! Going to have to keep them in mind for when I finally update my chalkboard!

  10. Fantastic tips Kelly!! Sketching it all out is a big help!

  11. Great tips! Little Bit from http://www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

  12. Great tips. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Oh thank you for sharing these with us! Ive wondered for a while now and you are awesome! :)

    Hugs,

  14. What a great list of Chalkboard drawing tips! You are so dang talented!

  15. Thanks for the tips! I need these!
    Leslie
    House on the Way

  16. I wish I had read this before I re-did my chalkboard the other day! I will definitely use this next month! Thanks for the helpful tips!

  17. You always have the best chalkboards! The stencil tip is brilliant!
    Kelly

  18. I think I’m a couple of days late. I decided not to do a chalk design on my big chalkboard in the living room, because I’m just not very good at it! I hung a picture in from of it instead, but NOW maybe I’ll do a separate Easter chalkboard using your tips. I always love your chalkboard designs! Thanks so much, Kelly!

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life

  19. I wrote a blog post on how the chalk pens ruined and are permanent on homemade chalkboards. I also learned the if you wet the normal chalk you use, it will write darker and much more bolder. It looks like it’s not working well at all when you do this but wait a minute and see the magic happen. It dries and as it does the chalk gets more bold and looks so good! I usually just wet a paper towel and lay the chalk in it for a minute to dampen the chalk. Your other points are great.

  20. This is the best tutorial ever!! Thank you so much!! I found you through facebook and now I am sharing it on my facebook page :)

  21. Love these tips!

  22. Thank you! Thank you! You have inspired me to “upgrade” my kitchen menu. Great tips.

  23. I been doing chalk boards for years and have found if you keep the board wet as you draw it is sharper and brighter with white or color. Some times I dip my chalk in water for a brighter colorful look. thanks for the tips.

  24. Thank you for sharing these tips. I am going to play with my new design now!

  25. Great ideas!! I am the worst at measuring. I would rather clean 20 toilets. But then I really hate doing my work over because I thought eye balling was good enough. My eye balling skills must be off an inch or two. Love da font. Forgot all about that site!

  26. hi there,
    love your drawings!

    what that font called in picture 9 (‘somehting in the air this morning…’)??

  27. thought I was the only one who had to measure and plan :) the illusion is that everyone free hands and eyeballs it. Nice to know I’m not alone with my natural tendency of off-center-ness :)

  28. Thanks for the tips! This was very helpful, especially the part about having fun! I am just starting mine today, so we will see how it goes :)

  29. KristyBrownLivingston says:

    Great advise!!! Thanks!!!! I have ordered chalkboard stickers for my mason jars that I will use in my wedding! Was wondering if u had ever used a sharpie on chalkbord, I’m using silver and maybe a yellow?

  30. Maghifiգue post, encore une fois

Trackbacks

  1. [...] my not-so-pretty handwriting. I looked up a few tutorials for writing pretty (and found some from the Lily Pad Cottage, In My Own Style, and Lilacs and Longhorns) that I will for sure refer to again. Multiple [...]

  2. […] Enter in a great post by Kelly from The Lilly Pad Cottage: […]

  3. […] from The Lily Pad Cottage, who I have dubbed the Queen of Chalkboards, shares her chalkboard tips and tricks to have you creating chalkboard art like a pro in no […]

  4. […] This blog recommends simple white Crayola chalk from the Dollar […]

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  6. […] If you need to brush up on your Chalkboard skills you can check out my post on my Top 10 Chalkboard Tips! […]

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